Temporary Total Disability - TTD
Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are what people typically think of as their "work comp checks" when off of work. The amount injured workers are paid depends on how much they normally earn. There is no set rate and it varies from case to case.
Benefits are calculated by taking 2/3 of a workers' Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The AWW can be calculated a number of ways depending on how long a person has worked for the employer, but typically the AWW is the average gross earnings over the 52 weeks prior to the date of accident.
Let's say over that year the average gross of a worker is $900/week. That is the AWW. The weekly work comp checks, TTD, would be 2/3 of that, or $600. That amount is tax-free at both the state and federal levels. The Illinois legislature has also set maximum and minimum rates an injured worker can receive while on work comp, to limit an employer's financial exposure but guarantee a low-income injured worker with a family baseline wages.
The right to TTD benefits does not kick in until an injured employee misses more than three days from work. And, the employer never has to pay those first three days unless the worker end up being off work for a total of 14 days or more. Consequently, someone with a relatively minor injury who only needs a week or two off might end up missing out on pay altogether from any source for three of those days. The law definitely discourages people from taking off work at the beginning, but does go back and pick up that lost time if the injury turns into something more serious.
There is also something called Temporary Partial Disability, where an employee is capable of working in a light duty capacity but temporarily cannot earn the same wages as before. In that situation the employer is required to pay 2/3 of the difference between the new gross earnings and what the employee could have performed in the job had he or she not been injured.
Did you know?
Work bonuses, holiday pay, vacation pay and mandatory/consistent overtime can all be included in your Average Weekly Wage. Voluntary overtime cannot.